Mia Kirshner (born January 25, 1975) is a Canadian actress who works in movies and television series. She is best known for her portrayal of Jenny Schecter on Showtime's hit television drama series, The L Word, a show about the lives of a group of lesbians and bisexuals living in West Hollywood, California.
Kirshner was born in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of Etti, a teacher, and Sheldon Kirshner, a journalist who writes for The Canadian Jewish News.  Kirshner is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors;  her father was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany in 1946 and met Kirshner's mother, a Bulgarian Jewish refugee, in Israel.  Kirshner had a middle class upbringing and studied Russian literature and 20th-century movie industry at McGill University in Montreal. Her little sister, Lauren Kirshner, a writer, was involved in the I Live Here project.
In 1993, Kirshner played a dominatrix in Denys Arcand's Love and Human Remains and won a Genie nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. The following year, she starred in Atom Egoyan's Exotica. In 1996, she appeared in The Crow: City of Angels.
Kirshner also appeared in the first three episodes of 24 as the bisexual assassin Mandy in 2001. She would later reprise the role for the second season's finale and in the latter half of the show's fourth season. Also in 2001, Kirshner played Catherine Wyler, The Cruelest Girl in School, in Not Another Teen Movie. The character is primarily a spoof of Kathryn Merteuil (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) in Cruel Intentions, and was partially based on Mackenzie Siler (played by Anna Paquin) from She's All That. In Marilyn Manson's music video for "Tainted Love", which was featured on the movie's soundtrack, she made a cameo appearance as her character Catherine Wyler.
In 2004, Kirshner was cast as author Jenny Schecter, a main character in the drama series The L Word. She remained with the show for all of the show's six seasons through 2009.
In 2006, she starred in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia in which she plays the young aspiring actress, Elizabeth Short, who was mysteriously mutilated and murdered in 1947.
Kirshner will star in 30 Days of Night: Dark Days which began filming in the fall of 2009 and in late December 2009 earned the role of Isobel Saltzman in The Vampire Diaries.
In October 2008, after 7 years in production, Kirshner published the book I Live Here, which she co-produced with ex-Adbusters staffers Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons, as well as writer James MacKinnon. In the book, four different groups of women and children refugees from places such as Chechnya, Juárez, Burma and Malawi tell their life stories. The book features original material from well-known comic and graphic artists including Joe Sacco and Phoebe Gloeckner. It was published in the U.S. by Random House/Pantheon. It was supported logistically by Amnesty International, which will receive proceeds from the book. After the release of the book, the Center for International Studies at MIT invited Kirshner to run a 4-week course on I Live Here in January 2009. 
In popular culture
Kirshner was ranked #43 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002. She and Beverly Polcyn were nominated for Best Kiss at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards for Not Another Teen Movie.
Love and Human Remains (1993) - Benita
Cadillac Girls (1993) - Page
Exotica (1994) - Christina
Murder in the First (1995) - Adult Rosetta Young
The Crow: City of Angels (1996) - Sarah
Anna Karenina (1997) - as Kitty
Mad City (1997) - Laurie Callahan
Out of the Cold (1999) - Deborah Berkowitz
Saturn (Speed of Life, DVD title) (1999) - Sarah
Dark Summer (2000) - Dominique Denright
Cowboys and Angels (2000) - Candice
Not Another Teen Movie (2001) - Catherine Wyler
According to Spencer (2001) - Melora
Century Hotel (2001) - Dominique
Now and Forever (2002) - Angela Wilson
New Best Friend (2002) - Alicia Campbell
Party Monster (2003) - Natasha Gatien
The Iris Effect (2004) - Rebecca
The Black Dahlia (2006) - Elizabeth Short
Miss Conception (2008) - Clem
War of the Worlds (1989)
Dracula: The Series (1990) - Sophie Metternich
Tropical Heat-Sweating Bullets (1991-1992) Cathy Paige
Are You Afraid of the Dark: Tale of the Hungry Hounds (1992) - Pam
Johnny's Girl (1995) - Amy
Wolf Lake (2001) - Ruby Wilder/Ruby Cates
24 (2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005) - Mandy
The L Word (2005-2009) - Jenny Schecter
They Come Back (2007) - Faith Hardy
The Cleaner (2009) - April May
CSI:NY (2009) - Deborah Carter
The Vampire Diaries (2010) - Isobel Saltzman
1.^ "Mia Kirshner surprised by character in 'Mad City' film". News Tribune. 1997-11-15.
2.^ Mia Kirshner basks in an erotic mystery
3.^ Aurthur, Kate (2008-10-19). "Mia Kirshner backs up her commitment". Los Angeles Times.
4.^ "'Give yourself permission to write'". the Varsity (University of Toronto). 2009-09-24.
5.^ [ http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/12/21/vampire-diaries-hires-mia-kirshner/ Exclusive: 'Vampire Diaries' lures 'L Word' babe Mia Kirshner]
6.^ BD's Got Your '30 Days of Night: Dark Days' Casting!
7.^ Mia Kirshner and Two Others Join The Vampire Diaries
8.^ TV: Mia Kirshner Becomes Regular on 'Vampire Diaries'
9.^ "Tavis Smiley Show". Tavis Smiley Show - Mia Kirshner - December 16, 2008.
10.^ I Live Here Foundation
11.^ THE GOGGLES
12.^ "MIT CIS: IAP 2009, I Live Here, Mia Kirshner". IAP COURSE: I Live Here—A Human Rights Multimedia Project.
13.^ "FreeJose.com". Maxim Magazine Hot 100 Women of 2002.
14.^ "About.com". Best Kiss nomination, 2002 MTV Movie Awards.